Sep 27, Xenomantid rated it did not like it Recommends it for: I'll be reviewing the first edition of the book because it was the one I snatched up as a teenager after finding it in the free section of a used bookstore.
As an asexual young person eager to learn about the obsession that the other ninety-nine percent of the human population harbored, I thought that Reuben's well-known bestseller would serve its promised purpose. The introduction asserted that no one could "live up to his human potential" w Oh, where to begin with this heap of libelous garbage? The introduction asserted that no one could "live up to his human potential" without having an active, healthy sex life, which should have been my first hint that the author was writing with an agenda in mind.
I don't know what the more recent edition says about transsexuals, and, for personal reasons, I don't want to know. Well, it's been over forty years, and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex has become more and more risible as more time passes.
From start to finish, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex is a transparent attempt to convince the reader to practice vanilla-flavored marital intercourse to the exclusion of all other forms of sex. The descriptions of the male and female sexual organs, as simple anatomy lessons, are exempt. The chapter titled "Male Homosexuality" is particularly notorious for insisting that gay men are prone to anonymous hookups in public bathrooms, cannot live together lovingly "The bitterest argument between husband and wife is a passionate love sonnet compared to the average conversation between a butch and his queen" , can be "cured" of their homosexuality by visiting psychiatrists, and, most bizarrely, get pleasure from penetrating themselves with foreign objects such as fruit and shot glasses.
The "Prostitution" chapter is similarly defamatory--it is the only section of the book that discusses female homosexuality, and asserts that the lesbians who become prostitutes do it to take the money of the men they despise and infect them with diseases. After all, who needs factual information when you can have the wise doctor confirm widely held prejudices? He must be all-knowing, he's a doctor! Reuben bestows his blessing upon oral sex between a man and a woman but cautions them that they may have "emotional problems" if they prefer it to intercourse.
Yes, he actually uses the phrase "ideal sex act. Modern readers will also note that the book is totally innocent of the concepts of fisting, lesbian sadomasochism, and heterosexual anal sex. A prostitute visited in the daytime by a stingy john apparently dealt with him by saying, "What do you think this, the kiddie matinee?
You can come over here for half price but you only get half a screw! Just put "Reproduction" from Grease 2 on repeat, and you'll be all set for an evening of stern lectures against almost every conceivable sex act. Otherwise, stay very, very far away from this thinly disguised propaganda. I read the edition, and--if you can possibly imagine this--it is even worse than the original.
The updated edition must have been written for the same people who were teenagers and young adults when the original was published, because there is no way that these attitudes would pass without scorn from '90s youths.
One has to imagine the author getting a letter from his publisher: Reuben, We reaped great rewards from your runaway bestseller once upon a time, and we would like to see you repeat the formula. Unfortunately, thirty years have passed since we last published your authoritative tome, and our audience of vanilla heterosexual Baby Boomers is largely no longer scared of homosexuality.
Would you please find another group or two to defame at length? We suggest painting sadomasochists and transsexuals as this generation's bogeymen. Also, we'd appreciate it if you barely toned down your anti-gay attitude. You can still portray gay people as crusaders for anonymous public hookups as long you don't prescribe psychological "cures" for the orientation itself. What's more, you can leave the prostitution chapter virtually untouched, because our readers' contempt for hookers is boundless.
We look forward to seeing your new efforts. Sincerely, Bantam Why, oh, why did I decide to buy this book at the used bookstore one day and not Sex Lives of the U.